When I read this month’s story “Plastic Planet,” it made me consider the conflicted feelings I have about using plastic. One that comes to mind is the daily tussle my husband and I have about putting plastics in the dishwasher. I’ve heard that intense heat causes them to leach harmful chemicals and I think we should wash them all by hand, yet when do I have the time? Still, I try. He’s more pragmatic; he knows he doesn’t have the time, so he puts our plastic in the dishwasher and is willing to take his chances.

Another consideration is the dehydration I’ve experienced because I no longer carry my water in one of those plastic bottles that are so easy to lug around. I try to drink water out of a glass cup, forget to do so, and then when I do remember to drink, I find myself out somewhere without any water. Which is worse: my concern about chemicals from the degradation of the plastic water bottle, or not supplying my body with enough water?

Then there’s my daughter. Since her birth, I’ve been conscious of everything that goes into her body, yet she often comes into contact with plastic. What happens when she drinks from a plastic bottle, eats off of a plastic plate, plays with plastic toys? I wish I knew.

Concern about the effects of plastic on our bodies, on our environment, and on other communities where plastics are manufactured was the motivating force behind this story. We hope it answers some questions and perhaps moves you to ask even more questions about how using plastic will affect us in the long run.

As always, we appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Jean Weiss